The Lie of the Land
Doctor Who Logo 'The Lie of the Land'
(Story Code 10.08)

by Toby Whithouse
The Truth

“It’s not a trick. It’s not a plan. I have joined the Monks. Whatever it takes, I’m going to save you from yourselves.” – The Doctor

The alien Monks have taken over the Earth, erecting huge statues of themselves in cities and landmarks, and altering history so that mankind now believes it shares the planet with them in peaceful partnership. The invaders’ lies appear to be proliferated by the Doctor, whose regular television broadcasts remind everyone how the Monks have benevolently shepherded mankind’s development for millions of years. For one particular family watching the Doctor’s transmission, their viewing is interrupted by the arrival of armed soldiers: the Memory Police. The mother is arrested for creating propaganda against the Monks; as she is dragged into a waiting van, her plight is watched by Bill, who just turns and walks away… Returning home, Bill fights the Monk’s mind-control by thinking of her mother. Bill knows the invasion is her fault: it was her decision to save the Doctor six months ago that allowed the Monks to take over, but she is convinced that her tutor is only pretending to be working with the invaders. Hearing someone breaking into her house, Bill is overjoyed to learn the intruder is Nardole; relieved that he is free of the Monks’ influence, Bill listens as her friend explains how he spent six weeks recuperating in the TARDIS after being contaminated by bacteria fumes, and has since spent his time looking for the Doctor. Using a gizmo from the TARDIS, Nardole has traced the source of the Time Lord’s transmissions to a prison boat off the coast of Scotland. Making contact with the captain of a supply ship, Nardole and Bill are able to gain access to the boat where the Doctor is being held; once aboard, their credentials are challenged by guards, but the arrival of a Monk proves a helpful distraction. After the alien creature has departed, Bill and Nardole sneak through the ship until they find the Doctor’s cabin; however, when they enter their friend’s room, the Doctor calls in a squad of armed guards and then telephones the Monks to warn them of his pupil’s arrival. To Bill’s horror the Doctor confirms that he has joined the Monks, believing that their influence brings peace and order to the world, and is a safer way for humanity to move on from societal stagnation. Grabbing a guard’s pistol, Bill holds the Doctor at gunpoint and demands that he help fight the invaders – but when the Doctor admits he has joined the Monks, Bill shoots him in the chest several times. Collapsing to the ground, the Doctor starts to regenerate… but then abruptly stops, a huge grin on his face as he applauds Bill! The Doctor explains that this has all been a test to check that Bill really is free of the Monks’ influence: the guards are resistance members recruited and deprogrammed by the Doctor, their bullets were blanks, the Time Lord’s call was to the kitchen, and Nardole was in on it all along! The band is back together, but they still need someone else’s help… After returning to the mainland in the prison ship in a spectacular show of defiance, the Doctor and Bill travel to St. Luke’s university in Bristol; the Monks are waiting for them here, but the duo manage to evade detection, and make their way down into the Vault. Unlocking the metal stronghold that he has been watching over for decades, the Doctor shows Bill inside: waiting for them is Missy, sitting at a piano inside a containment field. The rogue Time Lady admits that she has had dealings with the Monks before, and with some encouragement explains that the aliens’ lies infiltrate the consciousness of the populace through a psychic link with the person who gave their consent to their invasion. After the Doctor works out that the statues are transmitters that boost the Monk’s signal around the world, Missy reveals that the Monks’ hold can only be weakened by killing the original lynchpin, or their successor if passed down their bloodline. Refusing to let Bill die, the Doctor takes her back to the resistance’s hideout to rejoin Nardole and his men; the Time Lord soon hatches an alternate plan: by breaking into the Monk’s pyramid cathedral, which lies in London near St. Paul, he can plug his own brain into the mind-influencing machine that is carrying Bill’s brainwaves. Arriving at the pyramid with a squad of soldiers, the Doctor, Nardole and Bill discover that the exterior of the alien space ship is unguarded - there are fewer Monks on Earth than they have been led to believe, another example of the invaders’ misleading propaganda. The freedom fighters enter the building, all but the Doctor wearing personal stereos that play a recording of Bill reminding them of their mission and the Monks’ lies. Their arrival is quickly detected by the Monks: a pitched battle breaks out, which quickly ends with losses on both sides. Once Nardole has taken care of one of their own men, whose stereo was broken in the fight, the Doctor opens the chamber housing the brainwashing machine; inside sits a solitary monk, wearing a headset that enables it to broadcast its fake history. Being in ‘the eye of the storm’ means that Bill and the others are temporarily free from the invaders’ signals, and they watch as the Doctor grasps the headset and tries to override the Monks’ transmissions; but the alien creature is too powerful and it fights back, blasting the Doctor to the ground, where he falls unconscious… Coming too, the Doctor finds his hands are now tied behind his back. As Bill bids goodbye him and Nardole, the Doctor frees himself – but he is too late to prevent Bill from grabbing the Monk’s headset. The Monk tries to hijack Bill’s memories, but soon the screens above them become filled with images of Bill’s mother - memories Bill has created from the Doctor’s photographs. Bill’s love for her mother is so powerful the Monk can’t override it, and as the world gets a glimpse of freedom, the Monks’ lies are broken and their signal is destroyed. With mankind now uprising against their oppressors, the Monks beat a hasty retreat; fleeing in their pyramid, the aliens erase all memories of themselves from the minds of the people of Earth… Later, the Doctor and Bill return to St. Luke’s; the Monks’ transmitter statue here has been smashed, and now just taken to be a prop from a film. Sending Bill away to finish her essay, the Doctor returns to the Vault to spend time with Missy; she has been reflecting on the crimes she once committed, and can now recall the names of each of her victims. But has Missy really changed her evil ways...?

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts), Michelle Gomez (Missy), Emma Handy (Mother [Jane Bishop]), Beatrice Curnew (Group Commander), Stewart Wright (Alan), Solomon Israel (Richard), Jamie Hill (Giant Monk), Rosie Jane (Bill's Mum)

Directed by Wayne Yip
Produced by Nikki Wilson
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
3rd June 2017 @ 7.35 pm

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Nardole and Bill

*Part three of a three part story

*Working title: 'The Truth'